Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Winter Escape!

Last weekend was our annual trek to the Wisconsin Dells and this year did not disappoint. I have such vivid visions of these four crazy kids running the halls and chasing each other just like I did with my cousins when we went to Midway Motor Lodge each winter. Look at these faces--don't the just scream: "we are going to own this place someday"?


And then there is this one and his partner-in crime. The two beefiest beefcakes there ever was. Otis reminded me a lot of Finn the first time we all went (except of course that Finn had 6 adults falling over themselves to take care of 1 child and Otis was just lucky to not drown). But I digress--Otis and Finn, alike because all they cared about in life was having a basketball from the big kid pool.


Cash got in on that action too.


 And then there is Miss Bea. Queen of the Littles, or the littlest Big. She can't quite hang with the big kids yet, but doesn't have too much interest in just being with the babies. So she does her own thing. Like riding this beaver....
And swimming like a fish. I was quite annoyed that the Wilderness makes kids wear life jackets now. They are bulky and uncomfortable and after the 2nd day Bea was done with them. I spent a solid chunk of time chasing her around and trying to force her into a life jacket and then she just plunged into the pool and laughed at me (as she sank to the bottom). This girl....

And this one too... never ending adoration for her cousins.



 This is one of my favorite family traditions and I look forward to it so much every year. I can't wait until they all want to take on the big slides and hang in the hot tub all day.



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Happy Birthday, Otis!


It's hard to believe that it has been a full year since I was debating when to allow the doctors to break my water and then a few moments later gathering a little boy into my arms. I will be the first to admit that I was in shock to see that you didn't quite look like your sisters, and the questions of ' will I know how to be a Mom to a little boy' played in my head.


But it didn't take long for Otis to put those questions at ease. He found his way into our hearts immediately. It's ironic to me that it took until 'the final baby' for me to love and appreciate the newborn stage. For it's quiet. It's snuggles. It's ooey-gooey baby squishiness.

Of course, it should go without saying that Otis was a good eater. A good sleeper. Generally amenable to life in our crazy home. All of these things definitely contributed to said 'love of the baby stage.'



I remember the first few weeks when the sleep had not yet come, and the darkness under our eyes was darker than we care to admit--telling each other we just had to make it through the first 2 years and then it would get 'easier'.I know that isn't true. Everyone tells me it actually gets harder. Or the challenges are just different.

And I get that.

And honestly, looking at my tank-of-an-almost Toddler I know we have tantrums and whining and bumps and bruises still to come. But I will take all of it. Because our family just would not be complete with out this little man.


Crying and everything. After all--it was his party so....

If you want to see more amazing firsts of my little Odie Boy check out the video we made for him here: The Year of Otis



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Don't Call This a Comeback

After not blogging for almost 6 full months, and hemming and hawing about how/when/what the first post back would look like, I decided to just throw-down this post to break the seal and start to get my groove back.

I could blame it on three kids being 'so crazy', but the reality is that is only a half-truth. I am a 'heart-on-your-sleeve' kinda gal, and I really struggle blogging when there is a big piece of my life and current state that I cannot share. And there was a LOT of that this fall. Stuff that I won't bore you with the details on.

But what I have learned from all of that quiet baggage is that sometimes you have to focus on something right in front of you to see the bigger picture. And right now this is my bigger picture:


This guy is almost a year old, and it is blowing my mind. And I am truly sorry you guys (if anyone is still out there) have missed out on all the amazingness that is one Mr. Otis Hanson. But I promise to make it up to you on Tuesday.

One of my goals of 2016 (because I don't really do resolutions) was to start blogging more. I am not sure it will be up to my 16 times a month like the pre-kid days, but it will be more than once every six months. How's that for a super achievable goal?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Deerfoot in Pictures

Deerfoot.
There was fish.
There was sun.
There was a candy shop.
And Donuts.
There were hungover adults.
There were smiles and laugh.
There were cousins.
And Smores.
And so much jumping off of the dock.


































Monday, July 13, 2015

Stars and Stripes and "Fireworks"


We kicked off the Fourth with "stars and stripes day' at the Girls' school, and given that Otis is starting so soon, I figured I should start getting him used to theme days and joined him in on the action.



Tickle Monster is a new favorite game. By all parties, until Bea starts doing the 'pinching monster' or 'punching monster'.

We headed to LaFarge for a very traditional small (ie micro mini) town parade filled with vehicles carrying 'princesses', vets carrying flags, fire trucks, and some vehicles that just seemed to want to join in on the action. And SO SO SO much candy. Which we managed to keep a pretty tight lid on for the girls. Bea picked up on how to run out in the street pretty quick, and every time she ran into the street and came back she would say: "no hurt" and Tillie would cheer for her for not getting hurt. 

Oh my children....

Otis, being woken up from his nap to attend, spent the bulk of the parade trying to amputate my arm with his weight and continued nap in my arms.


And then spent more time watching this zebra than the parade.....


We are still not fans of very loud noises....

Or horses that are in the street.....


And this event brought one of my more public nursing moments for this babe....


We had a good ACTUALLY liking a dog in theory and practice moment (versus the typical just in theory).....


And a rare Mama and Otis picture. I love this little boy.


Afternoon Strawberry Shortcake Social. No shortcake for this one but he was still all smiles.


But as you can see the smiles get bigger when the shortcake can be consumed....



Call me crazy, call me mean, you can call me whatever you want, but my kids don't get to stay up for fireworks. 10PM is just NOT happening for a few years. So I bought a couple of 'popits' at Target and some sparklers and at about 6:30PM we had our own firework celebration.






All was great until the very last sparkler when a little ember flew off and nipped Bea on the inner thigh. Sooooo...maybe no 'fireworks' at all. Ever. Again. #badmom

It was a great day--filled with lots of festivities that helped us celebrate. Tillie was certain we would have a big cake for America, and was just slightly disappointed when that didn't happen. There is always next year, right?